Times change to comply with the law

By Dalton Amador

The Guardsman

After being in violation of state law for the past five years, City College is now publishing the exact time classes begin and end.

All community colleges in California must conform their scheduling practices to the standards set by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office according to Title 5, Section 55702.  In September 2008, the Chancellor’s Office emphasized in a new report that “[t]he start and end of each class meeting must be explicitly stated in every published schedule of classes and addenda.”

Despite coming to City College’s attention in September 2008, the school is just now implementing the mandate as an official policy.

“They were trying to change it in the past five years, in terms of, ‘well, we have to do it,’” Fariborz Saniee, administrator of Ocean campus’ scheduling office said, “but here we’ve been sort of relaxed about this kind of thing. And that’s why, after 80 years, we’re being hit left and right by the state threatening to shut down the college.”

Community colleges must comply lest their accreditation be threatened. Given that City College is in the midst of its own accreditation crisis, they are now addressing this issue.

“The penalty (for not following the guidelines) is what’s happening right now,” Saniee said. “The first requirement of accreditation is that the college follows the law.”

The emphasis on this specific provision stems from “a detailed review of official Spring 2006 class schedules indicates that several colleges do not explicitly show passing time between classes,” according to the report.

City College has always had passing time, but it was never considered an official policy.

Because this policy was always informal, it came with problems.

Class times are occasionally interpreted inconsistently, which means some classes ended as others began, thereby eliminating the passing time.

Saniee said that some of the evening classes would start on time if the students and instructor wanted to get out a little early.

“It was very casually interpreted,” Saniee said.

Beginning next semester, Ocean campus will state the exact times that classes begin and end. Classes will still begin ten minutes after the hour or half hour, but this will be stated explicitly.  Other campuses will list class times beginning on the hour or half hour.

For example, a class at Ocean campus will begin at 8:10 a.m. and end at 9 a.m., while at other campuses a class will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 8:50 a.m.

Ocean campus could have either had classes start on the hour or half hour to reflect current publishing times or change published time to reflect current class times.  The latter was decided upon Nov. 5.

The full scheduling guidelines, “Student Attendance Accounting Manual – Addendum Concerning Academic Calendars, Course Scheduling, and Related Topics,” can be read online as a matter of public record.

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